• images
  • May 23, 2013

googlemapsnewLast night I got my invite to play with the new Google Maps (desk­top edi­tion).

Initial Reactions:

  • It’s kinda slow.
    (For the record: I’m using Safari on a dual-core i7 MacMini with dual SATAIII SSDs in a striped array and 16GB of mem­ory, and my inter­net band­width is above-average.)
  • The inter­face has a clean/simple yet beau­ti­ful design. The map itself dom­i­nates the entire screen, which I sup­pose is how it should be.
  • By min­i­miz­ing the pres­ence of the user inter­face, there are less but­tons and entry fields, which means it’s harder to use if you’re unfa­mil­iar. It makes me won­der if the Maps team hasn’t over-minimalized to the point where it isn’t obvi­ous to users how they should inter­act with the ser­vice.
  • Thankfully, the “tour” that intro­duces you to the new prod­uct does a decent job of induct­ing users into the new inter­face par­a­digm. (I’m not sure that’s a good thing. To add a twist to a Jobs-ism: If it needs a user inter­face “tour” then it’s not intu­itive enough. Not sure if that’s the case here, but it could be.)

All-in-all, it’s a step in the right direc­tion.

  • images
  • May 15, 2013

ATT Free Msg: Your data usage has reached 3GB this month. Using more than 3GB in future billing cycles will result in reduced speeds. You can use Wi-Fi to help avoid reduced speeds. Visit www​.att​.com/​d​a​t​ainfo or call 866–344-7584 for more info.

(received by text mes­sage from my wire­less car­rier)

  • images
  • May 15, 2013
  • images
  • March 22, 2013

Nice use of video by a non-profit. I’m sure it wasn’t cheap to pro­duce, but prob­a­bly didn’t cost as much as you’d think.

Videoconference between Confirmation class and class­mate in London. Technology helps stu­dents cross oceans with­out even try­ing.

Smarter Stand is my friend Dotan’s project on Kickstarter. Simple, bril­liant, insanely use­ful.

Check it out.

Today, a new orga­ni­za­tion called B’nai Mitzvah Revolution announced itself to the world.

I’ve been priv­i­leged to serve as the webmaster/tech-guru on the project. Working with the team behind BMR — notably the co-directors and their col­leagues at HUC-JIR/RHSOE/ECE and the URJ — has been an amaz­ingly ful­fill­ing and insight­ful expe­ri­ence. I’m thank­ful to Isa for giv­ing me the oppor­tu­nity.

Check the site out. I’m incred­i­bly proud of it (though, truth be told, a lot of the con­cep­tu­al­iza­tion and tweak­ing came from the entire team).

Viva la rev­o­lu­tion!

For par­tic­i­pants in the iCen­ter pre­sen­ta­tion how-to that I taught today, I’ve uploaded two files:

• Extensive notes, as promised.
Presentation Primer — Notes & Sources.pdf

• My slides. (They’ll only make sense if you were there, nat­u­rally.)
Presentation Primer — Slides.pdf

Seth Godin:

Steve devoted his pro­fes­sional life to giv­ing us (you, me and a bil­lion other peo­ple) the most pow­er­ful device ever avail­able to an ordi­nary per­son. Everything in our world is dif­fer­ent because of the device you’re read­ing this on.

What are we going to do with it?

In my role as direc­tor of con­gre­ga­tional learn­ing at Temple Isaiah, I’ve been work­ing on ways to effec­tively use tech­nol­ogy to improve the learn­ing expe­ri­ence in the reli­gious school class­room. This post is the first in a series on ideas to make it hap­pen.

What is it?

AppletvhandApple TV is a box you con­nect (via HDMI) to a tv or pro­jec­tor, and you log it onto your wire­less net­work. Once it’s con­nected, the Apple TV can play YouTube and Vimeo videos and stream Netflix con­tent. Even bet­ter: Using a tech­nol­ogy called AirPlay, it can play music, videos, and photo slideshows from any com­puter (Mac or PC, as long as it has iTunes installed) or any iOS Device (iPad, iTouch, iPhone) on the same net­work. Also, cer­tain iOS apps take advan­tage of the same tech­nol­ogy to have video from the device (like a news video from the CNN app, or a radio seg­ment from the NPR app) dis­play via the Apple TV up on the attached projector/television.

Read More

  • images
  • April 3, 2011

...since before it was cool to be a Mac guy:

This is what we believe.
Technology alone is not enough.
Faster, thinner, lighter...
Those are all good things.
But when technology gets out of the way,
Everything becomes more delightful,
Even magical.
That's when you leap forward.
That's when you end up with something...
Like this.

That's an even better manifesto than this one.

Update: There's more.

If you ask a parent,
They might call it intuitive.
If you ask a musician,
They might call it inspiring.
To a doctor,
It's groundbreaking.
To a CEO,
It's powerful.
To a teacher,
It's the future.
If you ask a child,
She might call it magic.
And if you asked us...
We'd say it's just getting started.